BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Residents of western NY are sticking together and showing support for those who died and those who lost their loved ones and friends in a shooting in Charleston, South Carolina.
Nine people were killed during a bible study Wednesday night including the pastor, State Senator Clementa Pinckney, three other ministers and five parishioners.
The suspected shooter, Dylann Roof, has been charged with nine counts of murder and possession of a weapon. Law enforcement sources tell CBS news the 21-year-old made incriminating statements when arrested.
Hundreds attended a service Thursday night at the Bethel AME church on Michigan Ave. Local religious leaders are speaking out about the crime.
Buffalo Common Council President and Pastor Darius Pridgen agrees with police in Charleston, saying this was a clear-cut hate crime.
“My heart was broken to see people who simply went to church, a place of love and peace, that they were tragically gunned down. I was especially sensitive to the fact that the pastor of the congregation is an outspoken pastor who is also an elected official,” Pridgen told News 4.
Rev. Pridgen says he was pleased to see people of all races come together in solidarity after the attack.
A vigil was held Friday morning at St. Paul’s in Buffalo to remember the lives of those lost.